Environment activity - denominations - autumn 2008
The page give some examples of activities. It is based on reports sent in by EIN members in autumn 2008, to the EIN meeting Environment Issues Network of 20 October 2008, both before and after the meeting, as a means for members of EIN to share with each other what is going on.
(Also See EIN report notes for Summer 2008)
Church of England (David Shreeve)
- 1) A Time For God's Creation: The CofE produced a bookmark which was included in the clergy salary mailing (however, many of the clergy are not paid), a four page supplement in the Church Times (funded by the Church Times) and held a special service in St. Paul 's Cathedral.
- Need to think ahead to next year.
- 2) Shrinking the Footprint: A Carbon Trust survey of the CofE is almost complete. The estimated footprint of the CofE is 1.1 million tonnes. 'Greening the Spires' - Following the audit of parish churches the Carbon Trust consultants have looked in detail at 24 parish churches and 6 cathedrals. In addition there has been a Clergy Housing Audit with makeovers undertaken on a variety of examples.
- Plans are being drawn up for a series of regional events in 2009 to get expertise and toolkits to diocesan representatives.
- The CofE has been developing an Adaptation Fund for churches to donate to church-lead projects elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. The fund will be a CofE project managed for it by Tearfund.
Operation Noah (presented by Mark Dowd):
- Advent Campaign which starts on November 11 th with a talk by the Abbot of Worth at St Alban the Martyr Church , Chancellery Lane entitled "Climate - Spiritual Steps for Sustainable Living"
- A Present for the Future - a drama on time travel through three Christmases. Gone out to 1200 schools. (see Operation Noah website)
- A series of posters, advent prayer.
- All being premiered at Birmingham service on Advent Sunday with other activities.
- Some of the themes will be explored in a BBC series for advent Advent Voices.
CBTI (Mary Gandy)
Time for Creation
- The Church Times unfortunately delete reference to the website resources in their article. However there had been over 3000 hits on the main page of the website.
- It was the first year and will take time to take off. More planning is needed for next year's material.
- Thanks were expressed to Dave Bookless fr the considerable input to the material for Time for Creation. Others who contributed were also thanked.
- Is there a possibility of tying in Time for Creation with the Green Church Awards?
CAFOD (Maria Elena Arana)
Tiime for Creation
- Were not really aware of it until too late. Tried to tie it in to the Feast of St Francis and encourage the use of materials.
Catholic Bishops (Louisa Poole)
- Expressed thanks that the Time for Creation materials had been translated into Welsh and Irish.
A Rocha (Steve Hughes)
- With regard to Stop Climate Chaos have been in discussion with RSPB. They are interested in furthering Christian input and also want to broaden the scope to include the effect on biodiversity.
TearFund -(Helen Heather)
- The main focus of the climate change campaign is on the Climate Change Bill. This is currently in the Commons and we have been asking supporters to contact their MPs to push for a stronger Climate Change Bill. We also delivered over 10,000 campaign cards signed by supporters to Downing Street with the help of some cycling vicars. Read more at http://www.tearfund.org/news/latest+news/climate-concerned+clergy+get+on+their+bikes.htm
- We have also collected many letters and messages from supporters to urge G8 to give more commitment on tackling climate change
- In the autumn we will focus on the UN climate negotiations (COP-14) in Poznan , Poland calling for a strong post-2012 deal to tackle climate change globally.
Salvation Army (Phil Howe)
Time for Creation
- Salvation Army now has a Environmental Policy Group which comes under the direct command of the Territorial Commandos for the UK . Raised the Time for Creation with every officer.
- Harvest Pack - "Glocal"
Christian Ecology Link (CEL)
- CEL members helped run a Christian café and worship times at the week long Climate Camp near Kingsnorth. They took part in the Saturday march from the camp to the power station.
- LOAF meals continue to be held by churches around the UK - e.g. at St James Church, Piccadilly following their Celebration for Harvest on 5 th October
Quakers (Alison Prout)
- Have been working with Bangladeshi group for mutual understanding and support. Also to recognise our culpability.
CHASE (Peter Padley)
- The Shrinking the Footprints conference on Sustainable World: Sustainable Population has been organised between CHASE and the Open University. Speakers: Dr Graham Humphreys, Sir Leslie Fielding and Dr Peter Padley. The date is November 28 th in Cardiff. There is a warm invitation to all EIN members.
- 'Transport - A Journey to a Fairer Future', Saturday 22 November, Christian Ecology Link Conference ( 11.15am to 5pm ), The Church of Christ the Cornerstone, Milton Keynes MK9 2ES, on the ethics and theology of the transport debate. Climate change is high on everyone's agenda: transport is high on the list of offenders. Stephen Potter, Professor of Transport at the Open University explores low carbon transport systems and cleaner transport and vehicle technologies. Michael Northcott, leading theologian and writer on environmental ethics, speaks on our desire for speed versus the rhythm of the Earth. More information, contact David Miller, Milton Keynes Christian Environment Group, on 01908 377376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
www.christian-ecology.org.uk/conf2008.htm to download a flyer/booking form.
- Climate Change Service, 6 December 2008 : CEL is organizing a service of worship at Hinde Street Methodist Church , 19 Thayer Street , London W1U 2QJ at 11.30am . Mark Dowd, Operation Noah campaigns strategist, is the main speaker at the service and the Rev Paul Trahen will prepare and lead it. After the Service those who wish can join the Climate Change March due to leave Grosvenor Square at 1pm.The climate march is to end with a rally where the focus will be speakers calling on the UK government to do more to combat climate change. Posters available on www.christian-ecology.org.uk/climate-service-2008.htm
- 13-15 February. 2009: 'Welcome to the banquet: Risking Community', CEL Weekend, Ringsfield Hall, Beccles, Suffolk . Contact Chris Walton at email@example.com for more information.
Conservation Foundation (David Shreeve)
- London Interfaith Environmental Network event 29 October to develop a website in association with University College London which will map environmental action currently being undertaken by London faiths in a pilot scheme which is hoped to be replicated elsewhere.
- Successful meeting with Prof Chris Rapley of the Science Museum speaking to all the Anglican Bishops and their spouses. Some 1100 people were present.
- Mark Dowd will give a keynote speech at the Independent Schools Religious Studies Conference on Environment and Religion (24 th November). There will be some 250 heads of departments there.
The environment is only dealt with marginally in the syllabus of most boards.
It was noted that the Oxford PGSE for religious studies has not an environment module.
- A Rocha is piloting a Faith and the Environment GCSE module in 20 schools. It had been noted that schools had been visiting the A Rocha website for materials.
- Education Sunday (8 th Febuary 2009) will focus on the environment The Earth is the Lord's. . D B has been producing materials for this. See http://www.christian-teachers.org.uk/pages/educationsunday or http://www.cte.org.uk/Group/Group.aspx?id=64495
CAFOD (Maria Elena Arana)
- Vigil and action on mining in the Philippines outside the QE Conference Centre during a mining companies AGM (October 30 th )
- There will be further working with international partners (Caritas et al) on mining and climate justice. Internationally the campaign will be launch in Poznan in December (at the UN Climate negotiations meeting) and in the UK in March 2009.
- Pope Paul VI Memorial Lecture (14 th November) - The day the earth shall tell her stories - speaker Prof Mona Siddiqui
CHASE (Peter Padley)
- The Church in Wales Parish Green Guide
Produced by Alex Granville (Church in Wales Representative Body member), John Palmer (CHASE), and Robin Morrison (CHASE chairman). Proposed for use thoughout Wales at the September Church in Wales Governing Body Meeting by the Archbishop and seconded by Peter Padley. Its style and content will be familiar to readers of Claire Foster and David Shreeve's two publications and also The Pocket Green Guide for Wales produced by WWF Cymru. It will be available in Welsh.
Church of England (David Shreeve)
- How many light bulbs does it take to change a Christian? US edition now published and a French edition for Swiss churches (in conjunction with A Rocha).
- Don't Stop at the Lights published. It has had good coverage in Vietnam .
- Parish Pump News will be reduced in size, with extended stories and features on the web, to allow for Interfaith supplement (Conservation Foundation)
CAFOD and Operation Noah (Louisa Poole)
- A Lenten resource (six weekly studies) has been developed on human rights and other aspects: "Between the Flood and the Rainbow".
- Two new sets of six A3 size laminated posters advertise the resources CEL has to offer. One set has a general Christian environmental message, the other promotes the CEL LOAF principles. These sets can be borrowed for stalls at local events or for temporary display in churches. Please contact Wendy MacGregor to order a set at firstname.lastname@example.org Both sets are also available on the CEL website to download and print out for permanent display.
- Prayer postcards are available either singly or in small quantities to individuals or churches that wish to join the CEL Community of Prayer. They can be displayed on church notice boards, or at home, to act as a reminder to pray on a regular basis.
A Rocha (Steve Hughes)
Dave Bookless's book Planetwise is still selling well and continue to receive good reviews.
- Kingfisher's Fire by Peter Harris is also selling well and was reviewed positively in the British Trust for Ornithology's newsletter.
- Dave is currently writing another book, autobiographical in nature, for publication towards the end of the year.
Christian Aid (Kate Tuckett)
- CA is bringing out a set of Bible studies on climate change: Angels and Trumpets
- CA is also involved in a book for schools published by Hodder. CA is writing the development section. .
4. Other News
Eco-Congregation (Jo Rathbone)
- 119 Awards given and 314 churches registered to date in England & Wales
- There has been a boost in the numbers of Awards this year: 29 Awards have been given already in 2008 (which meant that I ran out of plaques!). There were only 22 in the whole of 2007, 21 in 2006, 14 in 2005. 39 churches have registered so far in 2008 (there were 38 in the whole of 2007). So things might be on the up!
- New website - Award given! - The Eco-congregation England & Wales website won the Most Green (Environmental) Website Award at the Premier Christian Web & Blog Awards on Sept 19 th . The category was sponsored by the Diocese of London. See http://www.christianblogawards.com/
- Funding - £3,500 has been given by 2 grant-giving bodies towards the re-writing of the modules (which will be undertaken between Scotland and E&W).
- ECEN - I attended the last ECEN meeting in Milan , along with Adrian Shaw from Eco-congregation Scotland .
- Staffing - I have said to A Rocha UK that I will be leaving by the end of March 2009, so will be working with Steve Hughes to find a replacement. In the meanwhile, I am restricting my hours to those for which there is funding (ie 2 days per week) in order that the project is slimmed down to be manageable in those 2 days. This means that any requests for speakers I am directly towards the nearest Award winning church.
- The location of the new person can be negotiated: the office base does not necessarily have to be at the Arthur Rank Centre.
- If anyone knows of someone who would be suitable, please do put them in touch!
- It was suggested that an appeal be made to church organisations to raise funding for someone more than two days a week.
- Website - A merger of the Eco-Congregation and CTBI websites was mooted.
- Newsletter - For latest newsletter see http://ew.ecocongregation.org/files/newsletter/Autumn08_0.pdf
- CEL member Mark Boulton is providing Owl Energy Monitors (£32 including VAT & postage) designed to help reduce electricity bills by up to 25%. The kit includes a monitor, a sender box and a sensor enabling people to view energy usage in real time. It is simple to install and requires no wiring. For more information contact: Mark Boulton, Conservation Education Consultants Tel: 01242 674839 Email: email@example.com
- AGM 22 nd November in Milton Keynes
A Rocha (Steve Hughes)
- It has been a year of celebration for A Rocha with its silver anniversary. A gathering at our project in Lewknor in mid-July brought together nearly 400 people to celebrate it.
- Our project at Minet between Southall and Hayes is under significant threat at the moment from various developments - a pipeline across the Park, a velodrome for cyclists, and a housing development to the south of the park.
- A GSCE Faith and Environment module has been launched and is currently being piloted in a number of schools with a view to general release next year.
5. Other Sources
To receive information on environmental news contact: Jan Drozd - despite recent ill-health which has meant that he has had to resign as a DEO he still sends out news on various environment matters: Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Hale publishes an email newsletter on Christian Stewardship Sustainable Development. Contact him on email@example.com
The Eco-Congregation Newsletter (see above) also has stories from many sources
See also www.amberlinks.org .
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan , 1-12 December 2008 The Poznan Climate Change Conference COP 14/CMP 4 provides the opportunity to draw together the advances made in 2008 and move from discussion to negotiation mode in 2009. Such an outcome at Poznan would build momentum towards an agreed outcome at Copenhagen .
- COP-15 United Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 30 th November to 11 December 2009 .
- Plans are being developed to make sure that the churches have a strong and united voice at this conference
See EIN report notes for Summer 2008